Holiday light displays on Long Island bring the magic of the season to life. We asked Pulse readers to vote for their favorite decorated home and the responses came flying in like Santa on his sleigh. The competition was tough, but 65 Elm Avenue in Coram received the most votes (and a four-pack of tickets to see the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes® presented by Chase!). I got the scoop from owner Arthur Giove on how his home came to be so extravagant.
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What is your inspiration for decorating each year?
My inspiration for decorating was the love of Christmas. It has always been my favorite holiday. I would have to say now it has grown from not only the love of Christmas, but also seeing the joy our display brings to so many every year. Also, knowing how much of a difference we make in the lives of many children from our donations raised for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Suffolk County Make A Wish.
What is the most memorable reaction from someone who has come to see the house?
One: people tell me coming to see our light show is their family tradition. Two: seeing a woman watching our show with tears of joy. When I asked why she was crying she told me for a few years she would bring her mother to see the lights and earlier that year her mom had passed away. Seeing the lights made her think of her mom.
How long have you been doing it?
This year is our 11th year. I started the year my daughter was born.
How long does it take you to put up?
Overall it takes me about two months to put up. The installation starts in September, but during the spring and summer we do the other half of the work, which is making all the new decorations and computer programming of the lights.
How many lights and how many decorations are there?
We stopped counting our lights about three years ago when it was at 100,000. We have many different types of decorations some of which would be a 20-foot blow up Santa Clause, a 16-foot tree decorated with 12,000 lights, 2,500 strobe lights, handmade elves that pop out of presents, 50 snowfall tubes and many other decorations that are all handmade by us.
How much do you spend on everything?
Our annual decoration budget is usually $2,500-$3,000 depending on if we have any last minute ideas, which 99.9 percent of the time always happens.
How many people come by to see it each year?
I would definitely say in the thousands. It’s hard to put an exact number. As of now we have 7,800 people who like our Facebook page.